Sunday, June 01, 2008

redemption

two of my best (black) girlfriends and i decided to go hang out in the Pearl district this weekend. we had a great time, and i realized how much more confident i feel around white people due to Obama being so popular. i mean, being black has never really stopped me from going where i wanted to, but occasionally i feel a little bit out of place or like i don't belong in some of the less ethnic areas. but yesterday was just different.

we were crossing an intersection where we had the walk signal and even though the car was stopped, we were all doing a sort-of run/walk, like we shouldn't have even been trying to cross the street in the first place. and then my friend asked, 'why are we running? we have the walk signal. when you see white people crossing the street, walk signal or not, they always walk like they own the street and KNOW that no one better not hit them'. we laughed about it jokingly but thought that we knew it was true.

it seems like so many people have embraced Obama- both black AND white. so this weekend when us three black young women were walking around in the Pearl, i felt like i was 100 percent equal with any white person there. i already KNOW we're equal, but it doesn't always feel that way, especially in an upscale area like the Pearl district. but now that a black man has the favor of so many people, it feels a little bit like he's redeeming the good, educated, hard-working black people that always get lumped in with the bad, uneducated, lazy black people who perpetuate the stereotype.

27 comments:

Golden Silence said...

This post just bothers me. What does any of this have to do with being Black or White? Crossing a street and feeling equal to Whites?

I really wish you'd get rid of this mentality!

Musings said...

Who cares really? I walk like I own the street EVERYWHERE and I'm not white. I don't think it's a white thing or a black thing. I go to the Pearl frequently, in the evening even and never feel like I don't belong. I don't know, maybe it is just me, but I don't think most white people give a damn about anything you think they do, as much as you think they do. Maybe that is naievete' (sp)on my part. Help me understand. I guess I am ultra comfortable and confident in my beautiful brown skin and KNOW I am being admired for it....

cardiowhore said...

for once I dont know what to say or how to respond, It is not good or bad , I just feel indifferent,

Anonymous said...

Pleeaaase keep these posts coming!

You're so insecure about being black, it's nearly unfathomable!

So, just because he had a black father, you now feel like you have something "real" in common with Obama and his 45+ yrs on earth?

Maybe a random white person will think you're a "good enough" person now, LOL. Girl, ya gotta remember, these are just RANDOM white folks - and yes, it is unlikely that you're even in their thoughts!

Oh my, what will you think next?

Natalie said...

That's funny, us Black folk here in Chicago walk across the street like we own it even when we don't have the signal.

Anonymous said...

i'm so glad i found your blog. my family and i had a long discussion about racism in america, largely due to the fact that half of us voted for hilary while the other half voted for obama (we will all vote for obama in the general, if i get my way!). my sister-in-law is 1/2 chinese and the rest of us are white, so our knowledge of how it feels to be a minority is all speculative. it really is interesting though how you talk about crossing the street and kind of running, even though it says walk. i do that too. mostly i'm just waaaaaay too conscientious. but regardless of all that, i'm trying to become more aware of how black people are treated in today's society. i will be back often to read your thoughts.

Jcanguy said...

This is a horrible post to learn about how black people are treated in todays society. Not to offend TBG, or the previous post, but if you want to learn how black people are treated in todays society, talk about ti with them politely. Ask them questions and not a only apart of the group (either the wealthier ones or the slum loving ones) but randomly. Now with that said, TBG how in heavens name can not trying to be black means inlcusive? I have been in the Pearl numerous times and thats what make it beautiful, cuz you dont have to be a retired white person or a young CEO to own a piece of it or enjoy the few amenities that exists. The 1% of black people that live in Portland Metro are so different and can be found everywhere (if it helps I live in West Linn), and it doesn't mean I'm trying to be white, or I change my attitude to suite the people I'm around, I'm comfortable in my skin which makes me comfortable in any surroundings.

Anonymous said...

Your comment about Obama and the practical effect he has makes me happy. Just imagine if he were president and multiply that by a thousand.

Speaking of owning the street, I just saw a driver trying to intimidate a black woman walking across the street this morning. She had the walk signal, but the driver wanted to turn right and insisted on pulling up right next to the woman and revving her engine. That rarely happens to me and when it does, it really pisses me off. But this morning I realized that at least I never have to wonder if the driver did that to me because of my race.

Anonymous said...

Not a Good Queer on Google says that you rock! When I see so many white people love Obama, it makes me feel that white people are not as racist as black people think.

I also bleive that Martin Luther King had many white supporters and I believe King said that the CIvil RIghts movement was not going to happen without the support of the whites. I can say the same thing about the gay civil rights movement is not going to happen without the heterosexuals support.

We still rise, we will not apologize for anything!

Not a Good Queer on Google

Jason said...

You know there really is a difference in what we "know' about ourselves and our race, and what we "feel" about ourselves and our race. When Barack Obama becomes President, a whole lot of people are going to feel a lot differently about themselves than they do now.

rich bachelor said...

@ Natalie From Chicago: there's black people in Portland who cross the street like they own it, too. Even some who endanger their own lives just to show how righteous they are, and not beholden to some damn traffic light.

Interesting too: just a minute ago I posted on the Portland Mercury's blog about Chicago, and how people of different races seemed to treat each other like people, and act like adults.

What do I know though: I was only there for a week. Maybe it's just as childish and stupid as here, and I just didn't get to see it.

Anonymous said...

WOW! You really don't like being black do you?! I'm reminded of the old magazines that offered a skin whitening cream. Somehow I think you would purchase that product by the bucketload.

I have a home in the Pearl district I am black, college and graduate school educated and I have never felt out of place. I even attended a high school on the east coast where I was the only black student out of 2000, the rest were all white.

I never felt inferior to those students because my parents imparted a love for who I am and that includes my color. Barack Obama does not have to redeem anyone. There is nothing to be redeemed.

Do you judge all whites by the actions of Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Timothy McVeigh, Eileen Wournos, or Susan Smith, or David Duke? They are surely a disgrace, but no one condemns an entire race on their actions.

Not all blacks are lazy, not even the majority of blacks are lazy, and the fact that you feel the black race needs to be redeemed shows that no one imparted in you the pride that comes from being a race that has survived incredible adversity and still strives to rise above it.

I am proud of Barack, but I am also proud of Hilary because they are both accomplished people. It has nothing to do with race and there should be no astonishment when one of "us" does well. Because we are all capable of doing well. Someone else's accomplishments or failures do not define me. I do!

You should define yourself too!

Anonymous said...

Interesting how sometimes I get the impression people feel that they are entitled to make other people wait for them. They actually slow down and take their time when crossing the street in front of a driver to show them how they "own" it. Being considerate and polite to others is pretty uncool these days whether you're walking, driving, biking, or whatever.

Natalie said...

Rich Bachelor- Actually, Chicago is the most racially segregated place that I have ever lived and hatred is rampant. It's nice to know we can put up a good front for visitors though.

rich bachelor said...

Natalie- damn. That sucks. Well, the individual people I interacted with seemed okay...

Anonymous said...

Let's get one thing straight, Barack does not need to redeem ME. I know who I am and I don't care to associate with anyone who judges me based on the action or words of others. I really feel sorry for you if you feel he redeems you. I guess YOUR blackness is truly bad. You really should go buy those skin whitening products by the bucketload. It will help you feel better about yourself so go for it!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should just not go to the pearl. It will be terrible if Obama loses and then you won't feel welcome anymore or maybe you should just seek some counseling to deal with your Black + White + Equality/Feeling out of place issues.

Anonymous said...

You know it is really amazing at how many people have jumped the couch on this post as an indication TBG is uncomfortable with her blackness. Well actually many times, just the mere fact of being a black woman in an inter-racial relationship is enough to make someone self-conscious about their own race. Just imagine being stared at in most places to the point of being able to charge top dollar as a freak show. Always having to be conscious of places that may not be too safe for you and your family and for the black woman in the relationship, always being assessed for looks, poise and style whenever you are with your partner. Yes, it does happen especially in places where there are relatively few minorities. You have not arrived in America just yet to the point of being able to blow off the fact that there are still undercurrents of racism in the country. I have read comments in which some of you people have questioned her mental stability, thrown her credibility as a black women into light and just have been plain out rude. Perhaps if you are reading her blog and her opinions about things rouse you to anger and personal attack then maybe YOU should be the ones seeking counseling. She is sharing her feelings about race disagree and be intelligent enough to be objective.

Anonymous said...

This is the weirdest blog post I have ever read. Because in my town, here in the South, black people walk across the street like it isn't even a street. They'll just be jaywalking, or jaystrolling, rather, as if no cars were zooming back and forth.

Besides that, I am just lost for words as to how to think about this post...it's very strange...

Taylor L. said...

This post is strange....only because I think you may have hit home a bit.

To feel as if you're not equal to a person just because of their being white, definitely denotes a problem within onesself.

Although, I DO think that Barack being a candidate for presidency would boost the confidence of the black people who need a confidence boost in this country.

Then again, when you turn on the TV and see no shampoo commercials for (dread)locks, or see infomercials for flattening iron's effectiveness in black hair, or turn on the radio to whatever is hot in the rap/hiphop charts today, I'd guess it'd be damn hard to overcome that problem.

So with the media portraying to you such an image, it's very easy to feel inferior.

We've definitely got ourselves a mentality and I think you do too, if you need Barack to validate your feeling equal with white people. This horrible mentality must be dispelled ASAP.

twistedneko@yahoo.com

Just stating My opinon said...

Wow. I can't believe you defined crossing a street with race. No matter what race they are people would always jaywalk. No matter what race they are there will be people who hesitate about crossing the street. It's just what people do.Race has nothing to do with that.
Barack Obama is a great man but he surely doesn't define me. Whether white people likes him or not doesn't mean a thing to me. Believe it or not there are black people who dont like him. I'm not trying to put the man down or anything it's just it should not amaze you that a black man is well liked. If he was white would it still amaze you that he's liked by both white and blacks. You should know that not all white people are huge racists, expecially since you married one

Anonymous said...

I'm a white guy, and I usually walk faster across the street than I do on the sidewalk. And if the light for traffic turns green, I'll jog or run to get out of the way of people in cars.

As for the people who slowly strut across the street in front of your car like they "own" it... that's just rude, no matter what race, gender, or political party they belong to... as is ANY action which one person does to inconvenience another person when it could be easily avoided.

Anonymous said...

I just found out about this blog, and damn you are insecure about your race (I am black by the way).How do you survive an interracial marriage when you do something as simple as cross the street and turn it into a race thing. Are you married to a white guy b/c you think black men are a bunch of uneducated thugs?
I live in NYC and these yellow cabs don't give damn, whether you are black,white,asian etc they will hit your ass.

Anonymous said...

first of all Obama is half white.

secondly, you're projecting. you think you know what every person you encounter is thinking and you think its a negative thing or a slight on you. this is low self esteem. go to a gym, learn wing chun, do yoga, eat a healthy diet with loads of fruits, veggies. these things will improve how you see yourself.

the things you describe in your blog happen in every city. they happen in ny, dc, miami, sf, la. there are idiots everywhere. feel better about yourself. laugh at these idiots when they do/say something stupid instead of you getting offended and angry.

Anonymous said...

this makes me doubt that you are actually married to a white guy.

its seems like you would disect every aspect of the relationship and make it about race.

"oooh he picks up his fork with his right hand...imma do that next time because i don't want to hold my fork like a stereotypical white person...."


some of your posts are cool but this one is just sad and embarrassing and honestly 99% of black/white/whatever people do not feel and think this way, and the world is progressing because of it


-bored black female who stumbled across your blog

um okay, no. said...

i agree, i don't see how anyone could put up with your insecurity...i'm a black female and i'm confident and i love life. i don't focus on people's race, especially people i don't even know.

how would you feel if everyone white person you met analyzed everything you did based on your race....you would probablly call that...racist.


but at the same time you claim that most of your friends are white and you're married to a white guy. you should be more comfortable with them by now then....geez. get some self esteem. life is too short.

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